City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Late Jake Thackray Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 11 August 2012

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Tony Cima
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Tony Cima

Tony Cima, a well-known singer-songwriter himself, shares his enthusiasm for the work of Jake Thackray. At one time a well-known face to millions of television viewers, Thackray has become one of those talents that time has almost obliterated from the collective memory.

A few years ago (well, several) this reviewer knew an upcoming singer-songwriter of comedic bent who has gone onto greater things. Jake Thackray appeared on TV – ‘Braden’s Week’ originally, and then ‘That’s Life’. Topical songs with a definite sing-by date, few surviving their original inspiration. The precedent was set, however, and now folk such as my acquaintance of former times publicise their activities through facebook pages and twitter feeds.

Thackray arrived on the scene too early for that, and his reputation has paid the price. This is a real pity, as the best of his material transcends the topical and remains both funny and frequently pertinent. One or two, in this reviewer’s opinion, are minor classics.

Tony Cima is to be congratulated for not only reuniting audiences with Sister Josephine, the ‘right funny nun’ with six o’ clock shadow and a collection of ‘rare magazines’ staying one step ahead of the pursuing police, but also for reminding us of some of the many other items from the thackery oeuvre deserving of reappraisal.

The show is a unique tribute to one of Britain's finest singer-songwriters, an artist who admired Georges Brassans, and whose own style was deeply reminiscent of the best of the French chasoniers of the 1950’s and 60’s.

Thackray’s songs captivated audiences through a combination of humour, poignancy and evocative and richly descriptive language.

Dying comparatively young in 2002, Thackray left behind a legacy of songs which Tony Cima revives to great effect in this production. Leaving the stage following a fine rendition of Thackray’s own 'Last Will and Testament', he had demonstrated their continuing power and potential popularity.

If there’s a cavil (and where there’s a reviewer there’s always at least one) it is that Cima provided very little in the way of context or biographical detail. While sets of concert notes would be inappropriate here, it would have helped younger members the audience – of whom, it must be said, there were very few at the performance attended – as well as those of us with some memory loss.

Show Times: August 9-15, 9:00pm

Ticket Prices: 10 (£8)